Kenny Thompson saw the story from Utah of kids having their food taken away from them because they didn’t have the money to pay for them, and it gave him the idea to go to a school where he mentors and see if any of the kids were behind on their lunch money payments.
Thompson mentors at Houston’s Valley Oaks Elementary School, and when he found some of those kids were eating bread and cheese instead of complete meals, he decided he just couldn’t ignore it.
When he read online that kids who were delinquent in their lunchroom payments had their lunches thrown in the trash, he felt he had to do something. “I’m like, ‘Wow. I know that’s probably a situation at my school, and the school my son goes to, and the other schools I mentor at.’ So I came in and inquired about it,” Thompson said.
Thompson found out that there are children whose parents can’t even afford to pay for the reduced lunch, a mere 40 cents a day, so he took $465 out of his own wallet and paid for more than 60 children.
“These are elementary school kids. They don’t need to be worried about finances,” said Thompson. “They need to be worried about what grade they got in spelling.”
Thompson said that a lot of kids are so embarrassed by the fact that they can’t afford lunch, that they avoid the line completely and potentially go without food. Given the correlation between student performance and proper nutrition, modern society cannot afford to let kids go without.
Thompson feels good about what he did, and is sure there are others out there lending a hand. “I left the building knowing that they were getting fed, they didn’t have that stress,” said Thompson. “The best money I ever spent.”
Watch news coverage of Kenny Thompson’s incredibly kind act of generosity and investing in his community’s children here.